How to Prepare a Case Brief

Topics: Appeal, Question, Law Pages: 4 (1065 words) Published: September 18, 2013
A case brief is the result of distilling a court opinion down into its essential elements. There are many different ways to brief a case, each dependent largely upon its purpose in being assigned. Below is the format which you should follow for briefing cases in this course:


TO: Supervising Attorney’s Name, Esq.

FROM: (last four digits of your social security number)

DATE: (the date the brief is due)

(You should give a complete citation to the case being briefed, including the name of the case, all parallel citations and date of decision. Use Fla. R. App. P. 9.800 if applicable. If Fla. R. App. P. 9.800 is not applicable, use either Bluebook or ALWD citation form.)

(Summarize the holdings of any previous courts and the disposition of the case by these courts. Explain how the case got to this court, e.g., interlocutory appeal, summary judgment, etc. This explains where the case has been and what happened prior to its arrival at this court. It will be necessary to trace back and determine what the decision of each lower court or administrative body was in the actions prior to those involved in the case you are reading. Ex: Appeal from judgment of dismissal. It is significant to note if the prior decisions were from a trial court or an appellate court or both. Most of the opinions you will read will be those of appellate courts. Be sure to briefly identify the parties and the relief they were seeking or the defenses they raised. This should be a record of the judicial history of the case so it should be written in the past tense.)

(Summarize the legally significant/relevant/materials facts of the case; that is, those facts which were relied on by the court in reaching its decision and those that affect the outcome of a case. Identify the parties by name and indicate the role of parties involved in the litigation, i.e., plaintiff, defendant, appellee,...
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